This weekend, my wife and I rented and watched Couples Retreat on Blu-ray. The movie was pretty entertaining, and mildly funny, set on an "exotic island" (aka Bora Bora) at the "Eden Resort." Part of what made the movie entertaining was the great scenery, being shot on location in Bora Bora, and the attractive people having fun (or not) in a beautiful place.
After we were through watching the movie, my wife and I started day-dreaming about taking a vacation to Bora Bora ourselves. This got me thinking about the search results that would come up for the fictional resort name used in the movie (get a life, I know). As is common in movies, the names of the places used in Couples Retreat are fictional; however, this doesn't change the fact that when you show a beautiful place in a movie, it m... > Read more
If you own a small business, you confront a unique set of Internet marketing challenges to create a innovative small business marketing plan. You may not have a large marketing budget, a substantial marketing staff, or expansive knowledge of the industry’s best practices. Luckily, there are blogs out there focused on helping small business owners advertise their product or service online.
Here’s a list of our top 12 small business marketing blogs:Small Business MavericksInternet marketing strategist Caroline Melberg updates her blog daily with concise small business marketing tips and commentary. Her latest posts deal with Yahoo Search’s viability, the importance of testing one’s Web pages with every browser, and whether Facebook should add a blogging feature.The Marketing Spo... > Read more
A lot of people linked to a Wired article earlier this week titled "How Google's Algorithm Rules the Web," by Steven Levy, calling it a must-read. If you're a search geek (and if you're reading this, your probably are), the article probably doesn't communicate much that you don't already know. The most interesting thing about the piece, actually, is an example contained within the article, meant to illustrate how Google outperforms Bing on a pretty basic query.
But the example doesn't work anymore—not how the author intended it to—only illustrating how little the average person (even the average tech journalist?) understands search engine algorithms. “The algorithm is extremely important in search, but it’s not the only thing,” says Brian MacDonald, Microsoft’s VP of core searc... > Read more
February: Kind of a pathetic little month, isn’t it? Cold, wet and short. Like a dog left out in the rain. I can’t imagine anyone picking February as their favorite month. It would be like having taupe as your favorite color. Or oatmeal as your favorite food. (Cold oatmeal that is.) Luckily this dumb month is pretty much over and that means it’s time for our monthly list of the WordStream blog’s greatest hits! Our most popular posts in February, without further ado: How We Got a Link from The New York Times: Ken wrote this link bait case study of the strategy behind our most popular post ever, Larry Kim’s “Poll: Scott Brown to Win Massachussets Senate Race by a Landslide.
” Is SEO Dead? Nope, It Has Just Come Full Circle!: In this guest post, Terry... > Read more
All too often we search marketers get overly consumed with the concept of long tail keywords. We read about it in blogs and articles and increasingly the long tail is preached as the solution to all your pay-per-click problems. Certainly the benefits of the long tail are undeniable; by targeting long-tail phrases we focus our efforts around more targeted search queries and generally find less competition among advertisers.
However, as with any diet, we need to remain balanced. By eating only lettuce and vegetables, we’re sacrificing protein and other nutrients that come with fattier foods. Likewise, by only targeting the long tail, we sacrifice the valuable benefits that competing for head-tail terms may provide. So what are the benefits of head terms? First, these more genera... > Read more
Arnie Kuenn is the president and founder of Vertical Measures, LLC, as well as the founder and president of the Arizona Interactive Marketing Association (AZIMA) and has presented at SMX Advanced, AMA Phoenix, Pubcon and many online webinars. Follow him on Twitter: @ArnieK. Can you tell us a little about Vertical Measures and your role there? Vertical Measures is a full-service internet marketing and link building company in Phoenix.
We help our clients gain more business from their websites by providing internet marketing solutions using innovative and ethical strategies. We achieve this by developing expertise across multiple disciplines while constantly adapting to current trends. The company is comprised of a group of individuals with backgrounds in internet marketing, social media, we... > Read more
Nielsen reported this week that Facebook is now officially the web's biggest time suck (or time sink, if you prefer), with the average American user clocking in at over seven hours of Facebook use per month – which doesn't sound all that shocking compared to how much TV the average American watches: 153 hours per month, and that's just at home, not counting sports bars, the Internet and so on.
Holy crap, people, turn off the TV – you're probably missing something on Facebook! Nonetheless, it's a lot compared to other online activities – seven hours per month is more time than we spend on Google, Yahoo, Bing, YouTube, Amazon and Wikipedia combined. (Holy crap, people, turn off Facebook, you might be missing something on YouTube!) Occasionally we all make bad choices when it comes to h... > Read more
We meant to announce this before it happened, but the pesky time difference got the better us of ... WordStream presented at SES London, and earlier this morning, on a panel on search advertising tools moderated by Andrew Goodman. From the SES agenda: The competition is fierce in paid search! From small in-house accounts to ones with millions of keywords, it's the new advances in SEM technology that might just make the difference between success and failure.
Are there tools you could be using right now to help double your conversions, lower your costs, or save your team hours of time every week? At this panel, top paid search tool vendors will showcase their latest features in bid management, campaign workflow efficiencies, and reveal what the future holds for the industry. As well, t... > Read more
Recently at WordStream, we launched our first link bait campaign. By our standards, the campaign was successful, and we thought we'd share the details on how to build a linkbait campaign. How to Get Links from New York Times: A Case Study In a nutshell, we attribute the campaign's success to setting clear objectives, creating killer content and aggressive marketing.
What resulted from our hard work, planning and execution was a link from one of the most trusted sources on the planet: The New York Times. Case Study Contents: Planning Phase Goal Setting Link Bait Creation Link Bait Promotion Campaign Results How did we do it? Read on and find out how to get a link from the New York Times. Link Bait Campaign Intro: Before You Start, Have a Plan! You may be wondering how to start link baitin... > Read more
Everybody loves an Internet meme. They come into our lives, entertain us and everyone we know for three minutes or so, and then as quickly they are gone. Some, of course, are more tenacious than others (ahem, Rickrolling).Do you ever find yourself wondering what happened to that one guy in that one viral video? Wonder no more! I did the bare minimum of research to find out what some of our favorite Internet memes of the past few years have been doing with their lives since.
JK Wedding DanceIt was just six months ago that Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz's wedding dance video went viral on YouTube. It now has over 41 million views.Where are they now? Presumably still in the throes of wedded bliss. In a recent update on the Today Show, Jill said, "It's going pretty well." Do they ever watch the ... > Read more
Today we're announcing that we're launching a brand new affiliate program that will allow other Web publishers to promote our products - and get paid for it! This is a first-run, "beta" version of our affiliate program so we're welcoming feedback. In attempting to make the program a success for affiliates, their audiences, and of course for WordStream, we've created two types of pay outs for affiliates: Pay-Per Lead for PPC - We have a keyword management solution for pay-per click advertising on search engine platforms such as Google AdWords.
This product has it's own pricing and we offer a free trial and frequently have potential customers request a live demonstration of the product. As such, we've decided to pay for leads people drive to this product. Pay-Per Sale for SEO - W... > Read more
Google this week took another stab at social with the release of the unoriginally named Google Buzz, which was rolled out to Gmail users soon after Tuesday's announcement. As Matt McGee points out in a post on Search Engine Land, Google Buzz – basically a stream of status updates and shared items – is intended to compete with Twitter, Facebook, and even Foursquare, given its mobile features.
There's been a lot less hype surrounding Buzz (ironically?) than there was for Google Wave, which may mean that Google was wary of more buzz backlash. Hype or no hype, among non-tech-geeks I know, the initial "buzz" was very similar to the reaction to Google Wave: What is this? What is it for? So is Buzz really a threat? According to Marshall Kirkpatrick, yes – it's disruptive because it's "built... > Read more
Despite a global recession, budget investments for search engine marketing continue to grow year after year. Many experts predict that spend on search engine marketing (SEM) activities will double in the U.S. from $13 billion in 2009 to $26 billion by the year 2014. With more and more marketing dollars flowing into paid and organic inbound marketing efforts, we wanted to poll our readers to see if their organizations are following the same trend.
We conducted an extensive survey of industry professionals and business owners to get an idea where budgets for search engine marketing are headed this year. We wanted to find out if spend on search marketing activities will rise, fall or remain the same in 2010. Here are the results. 2010 SEM Spending Trend Survey Results Survey Acronym Key SEO ... > Read more
Do I think the days of easy manipulation via links are gone? You betcha! Do I think SEO will require more "marketing" knowledge, not link algo manipulation? Oh Yeah!! On that point I'm of the opinion that third-generation SEO ("the blogging linkerati") is dead; "on-page" algos are still important because they are tied to query relevance, and unwanted manipulation using text makes it easier for search engines to determine intent.
I have never believed linking is SEO; that's a 3G SEO strategy and I knew it wasn't a long-term SEO technique, because it was out of the "complete control" of the webmaster/marketer. I have always instinctively known this technique could not be useful for ranking for the very long term unless the link is one-way and not paid for or schemed, i.e., not open to manipu... > Read more
It's an age-old question that many in search engine marketing struggle with: "How do I judge competition for keywords?" Do it wrong and you could waste countless hours and dollars chasing after an impenetrable market. Do it right and you could uncover a very profitable keyword vertical. Given the importance competitive keyword analysis, we reached out to 35 of the world's top search marketers and asked them a single question: “What is your best tip/trick for determining how competitive a keyword is?” We've collected the answers and compiled them into the Web's first comprehensive guide to analyzing keyword competition.
The Ultimate Guide to Keyword Competition features advanced tips and tactics from such search gurus as Aaron Wall, Rand Fishkin, Michael Gray, Todd Malicoat, David Harry... > Read more
As ion interactive's online marketing manager, Megan Leap manages webinar, social media, search and email campaigns. She has extensive experience in conversion rate optimization and social media marketing, and when not championing high-ROI online marketing strategies, can be found running marathons across the U.
S. She is also a frequent contributor to the Post-Click Marketing Blog. Follow Megan on Twitter: @MeganLeap. What’s it like for an online marketer who’s marketing LiveBall, an online marketing software product, to other online marketers? Marketing to marketers is a lot of fun. If I worked somewhere else, I would be our target audience. Plus, I use our software product every day in my job, so I know it inside and out. That gives me a unique perspective. Our audience kno... > Read more
My friend Jessica, who has been blogging since at least 2006, warned me the other day that as my blog gets more popular, the comments will get progressively more annoying, truculent and even abusive. Though she is young and lovely, she said this with the tone of a knobby old seer. I chuckled nervously and tried to dismiss her prediction—I love my blog commenters—but I wasn't sure how to respond.
So my ears pricked up, or my eyes, or something, when shortly after this, Danny Sullivan tweeted that Engadget is turning off comments for a bit. In the announcement post, Joshua Topolsky wrote: Hey guys, we know you like to have your fun, voice your opinions, and argue over your favorite gear, but over the past few days the tone in comments has really gotten out of hand. What is normally a ch... > Read more
Search engine marketing (SEM) spend is expected to rise in the U.S. from $13 billion in 2009 to $26 billion by the year 2014. With more and more marketing dollars predicted to flow into paid and organic search marketing efforts, we wanted to poll our readers to see if their organizations are following the same trend.
We're conducting a brief, 10 question survey on search marketing budget trends in 2010. We want to know: will your spend on SEO, PPC and SEM-related activities in general rise, fall or remain the same in the coming year? The Poll is now closed. To view the results of our survey, go to 2010 Search Marketing Spend Trend Survey Results ... > Read more
Blake is a social media marketing enthusiast and Media Program Analyst at D.C.-based EyeTraffic Media, a digital marketing firm specializing in top-notch online campaign execution and measurement. You can find them at eyetraffic.com and follow them on Twitter at @EyeTraffic. Join the conversation, but don’t try to dominate it for search’s sake.
The beauty of Twitter is that a 140-character limit allows anyone to chime in. You don’t have to be composing bi-weekly novellas with flowery prose to get heard on the Web. All you need is a half-coherent thought and some shorthand at your disposal. Of course, that ease is also a curse for the many netizens who end up listening to people who have nothing to say. And now that social media messages have sprung up in search right alongside big-bu... > Read more
One of the best ways to save money on your AdWords campaign is by improving your click-through rate (CTR), or the percentage of viewers who actually click on your ad. A higher click-through rate leads to a higher Quality Score -- a grade Google applies to your AdWords keywords and ad groups. When you have a high Quality Score, you pay less for better ad spots.
Here are 10 steps you can take to improve your AdWords click-through rate: Include promotional offers, attractive adjectives, and calls to action in your ads. People are more likely to click on your ad if you tout a special promotion, like free shipping. Also, words like “save,” “easy,” and “new,” and calls to action like “buy now,” “reserve today” and “call now,” can prompt a click. Put your keywor... > Read more
My favorite way to find quality blogs (and books and movies, for that matter) is via recommendation. Towards that end, I thought I'd share a PPC Blog you might not be reading (every so often we share a list of our favorite search and online marketing blogs). Aaron and Giovanna Wall of SEO Book fame have started collaborating on a sister site that focuses on PPC.
The content is really strong, offering a very similar level of high quality how-to and industry trend material. They recently launched a very clever AdWords tax calculator that can help give you an indication of how much you might be wasting on paid search. If you haven't already it's definitely worth checking out and subscribing. ... > Read more
I was lucky enough to win a SEMMY for best 2010 PPC article. Many thanks to Matt McGee and David Mihm for taking the time to highlight various contributions within the search space, and thanks also to the PPC Hero blog for letting me put the post up there. I wanted to highlight some of the other winners: The link building category was stacked with three strong articles.
Our friend Garrett French churns out a ton of great stuff with staggering consistency, and anyone with any serious level of familiarity with the industry is familiar with Weip, who's similarly impressive in terms of consistently high-quality content creation. The blogs and blogging category is another deep one, with the Guide to Guest Blogging being a really great overview on how to effectively execute on external po... > Read more
Chris Brogan is President of New Marketing Labs, a new media marketing agency, and home of the Inbound Marketing Summit conferences and Inbound Marketing Bootcamp educational events. He works with large and mid-sized companies to improve online business communications like marketing and PR through the use of social software, community platforms, and other emerging web and mobile technologies.
Chris is also co-author of the book Trust Agents, with Julien Smith. For more information, read his blog or follow him on Twitter. What are the first three things someone should do if they have little to no social presence and want to change that? Start by listening. Use social media listening tools (google "Grow Bigger Ears" for starter advice), and start seeing what people are saying. Where are they... > Read more
This is a guest post by Terry Van Horne. Terry is the founder of SeoPros and a 15-year veteran of Web development, currently working out of his consulting and development firm International Website Builders. Terry's interests are primarily the socialization of search and analysis of social Web traffic and applications like Twitter.
I discovered the term "disruptive technology" while dabbling in day trading. Basically it's a technology or business that enters a space and disrupts the current sales and business model -- these days, almost always using technology as a catalyst. I actually did some trading in these stocks, and here's a tip: When it seems the price is stupid ... it is! The Interwebs have proven be a very disruptive technology. The Web changed the travel industry, in f... > Read more
I didn't want to write about the iPad this week, but now I want to write about the iPad this week. Though I am not a gadget person, it was difficult to ignore the onslaught of buzz and anti-buzz that swarmed Twitter on Wednesday before, during and after the unveiling of the iPad. Maybe I gravitate toward snarky (wise) people, but the sentiment from my view was overwhelmingly negative, especially if you count "wings" jokes as negative.
The reactions were largely along these lines: "So it's just a big iPhone that doesn't work as a phone? Really?" This got me thinking about the path that personal devices seem to be taking—that is, getting larger, not smaller. The iPhone is already significantly larger than the Razor, which all the cool kids were carrying before the iPhone came out. Now... > Read more
The end of January. The Thursday of winter. Spring, she is so close, and yet so far—especially in Boston, where spring's subtitle is Winter Part 2: The Bitch Never Left. Whether or not you live in a northern clime, please allow our best loved blog posts from the past month to warm your hearts and extremities: New Social Media Polling Data Suggests Republican Scott Brown Will Trounce Democrat Martha Coakley in US Senate Race: This timely post (whose prediction turned out to be correct) trounced our other blog posts in traffic this month.
In fact, it's one of our most popular posts ever. Check out how Larry looked at social media metrics to determine who—despite what the polls said—was the more popular candidate. Social Media Poll: Conan vs. Leno: In this copycat post... > Read more
As part of my SEO services for clients, I build links. Most SEOs agree that manually building and begging for links is tedious and even loathsome, but a necessary evil. Without links, you don't rank. It's that simple.Like many link builders, I've discovered what I call "link equity wells:" prime link juice target sites that pass trust, equity and aren't impossible to acquire links on.
Now, I'm not talking about low value article directories or forum signature links. These are solid, moderate value links that I tap for juice to client sites as needed. Downside is, revisiting the same link wells again and again is not only laborious, it's inefficient. Face it, link building on its own sucks, but having to repeat the exact same link activities on each new client site can be mind-numbing. It's... > Read more
Richard Kraneis (@rkraneis) is a good friend of WordStream, a frequent reader of and commenter on our Internet Marketing Blog and runs a site offering online GED services. Like many, Richard is curious about learning the ropes of search engine marketing (SEM). His questions about SEM are always well-thought out and intriguing and often result in some great dialogue.
So we thought it would be interesting to post some of Richard's questions and follow along in his quest for SEM knowledge as he seeks answers from: His own research - Richard's own research will fuel his SEM education The staff at WordStream - We'll offer our own thoughts on Richard's questions and answers Your feedback - feel free to weigh in and give your thoughts too This Month's SEM Question from Richard I'm in the proces... > Read more
This is a guest post by Jenny Anderson, a search marketing consultant at Hanapin Marketing. She works with a variety of clients and writes for Hanapin’s blogs, PPC Hero and SEO Boy. Outsourcing your clients’ work can get a little sticky, and there are plenty of reasons why some agencies may never turn to external help – even when they’re on overload with other client work.
They might not want to lose the control of knowing every detail in the account, they might think they know the product better than someone on the outside, or they might be afraid of what their client will think if they find out. In our experience with managing outsourced accounts at Hanapin, I can tell you that it’s really not that scary. Below are some tips and hints on how to successfully outsource, along wit... > Read more
Tamar Weinberg is a freelance writer, blogger, and social media strategist. Her specialties are blogger outreach, content promotion, community management, and viral strategy. In July 2009, Tamar published “The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web,” which covers the gamut of social media marketing topics in an easy-to-understand format.
Tamar is also the community and marketing manager for Mashable, the top ranked blog on all things social media. She maintains her own blog on social media marketing strategy at Techipedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tamar/. You're active on "many social communities," according to your website. Which one do you find to be the most valuable for business? What about for personal stuff? It really depends on the content.&... > Read more